One planet, one experiment. ― Edward O. Wilson

Tetiaroa Society has attracted some of the world's leading scholars on Pacific/Island/Ocean issues and they guide our research programs which vary from island and coral reef ecology to digital science, and oceanography to archaeology. Central themes for research on Tetiaroa are sustainability and the conservation of this island, and other islands, and the ocean that surrounds us.

The Conservation and Sustainable Use Plan provides the rationale for the science programs.

Interested in research? Check out our ongoing projects.

Ocean Acidification Program

Known as the "rainforests of the sea,” coral reefs display the beauty, diversity, and complexity of the ocean, while also exhibiting the ocean’s sensitivity to changing global climate. We are researching how these amazing ecosystems function now, how they will change over the next 100 years, and how we can protect our precious reefs.

more info

Tetiaroa Biocode Project

The Tetiaroa Biocode Project aims to create a comprehensive inventory of all non-microbial life in a complex tropical ecosystem. The primary objective of the first expedition is to do One Cubic Foot from the Tetiaroa reef that documents all creatures inhabiting the space as a mirror or sister site to Moorea.

hermit an a coral beach

Reef sharks and their nurseries

In most of the world's oceans, shark populations have already been modified by humans.  As a result, it is difficult to study shark behavior and ecology under relatively pristine conditions.  French Polynesia, on the other hand, stands as the world's largest shark sanctuary, and among the French Polynesians islands, Tetiaroa is especially conducive to shark research because it is pristine, accessible, and small enough to be studied as an entire ecosystem.

more info
Two blacktip reef sharks in the Tetiaroa lagoon

tetiaroa social-ecological system observatory

The data observatory will provide the secure infrastructure and long-term datasets needed to assess the effectiveness of management actions, underpin basic scientific research on the atoll, and provide an important reference point for the international global change research community. The observatory will monitor processes underlying sectorial issues prioritised by the UN: Water, Energy, Health, Food, and Biodiversity.

This turtle is just visiting

Lagoon Fish & Crustacean Replenishment

The present project aims to replenish the Tetiaroa lagoon by rearing and releasing fish and crustaceans caught at post-larval stage. The marine post-larvae will be caught using nets set up on the reef at Tetiaroa. The implementation of this project is part of a sustainable resource management approach supported by Tetiaroa Society.

more info

giant trevally project

Healthy populations of giant trevally and bonefish present an opportunity for sustainable economic development and eco-tourism in remote island locations where commercial fishing has historically been the only option. However in many of these locations bonefish and giant trevally are threatened by overfishing. The opportunity to study these animals in lightly fished locations like Tetiaroa is becoming increasingly rare. This research seeks to contribute to our understanding of the biology of these fishes and to determine steps necessary to protect them and establish sustainable fishing programs. 

more info
researcher with a bonefish

Tetiaroa Island Digital Ecosystem Avatar (IDEA)

tetiaroa idea

Tetiaroa IDEA is a place-based data science infrastructure and computational platform for scenario-based planning. The Tetiaroa IDEA will model the complex feedbacks between climate change, management actions, public policy, and ecosystem services across the island’s coupled marine-terrestrial landscape.

more info
Tetiaroa IDEA

Mosquito population control

institute louis malarde

Our conservation efforts encompass monitoring, preservation, and restoration programs related to the marine and terrestrial biodiversity of tropical islands, as well as the preservation of their cultural heritage. Tetiaroa Society is supporting a project led by Institut Louis Malardé (Dr. Hervé Bossin) that explores innovative, more effective and environmentally safer methods for controlling mosquito populations.

more info
Male mosquito release